WH Group has numerous famous brands trusted by consumers. We have won their trust by providing high- quality, nutritious products for our consumers. We insist on innovating, improving service quality and actively meeting the different dietary needs of different consumers.
We are committed to providing reliable and excellent food products to our consumers. For our operations in China, the United States and Europe, we fully comply with our comprehensive quality control management systems at all production stages, ranging from animal feed production, hog production and food processing, to transportation and delivery processes. Our vertical integration of different production stages, like hog production, fresh pork and packaged meats, has shown a competitive edge in quality control.
Performance highlights 2019
40 plants that have passed the
ISO 9001 Certification and
30 subsidiaries that have passed the ISO 22000/HACCP Certification
30 subsidiaries that have passed the ISO 22000/HACCP Certification
52 plants in the United States, Poland and Romania meet GFSI standards
increased by 24% compared with 2018
10 new choices of healthy products for U.S. consumers, that include no artificial ingredients, added nitrites, preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or added hormones, among others
plant-based protein portfolio under Pure FarmlandTM brand
We have established a Food Safety Committee at the board level, which is responsible for formulating principles and visions of food safety and risk management and overseeing ongoing review processes. We have set up a quality management team comprising more than 1,000 employees, whose duties are to monitor our food safety and quality performance under stringent standards and to make continuous improvements. Additionally, we encourage our facilities to participate in advanced international certification schemes.
Meanwhile, we are prepared to respond to the new requirements or internal management procedures at any time by focusing on any updates to the laws and regulations of food safety and quality by the regulators. We align our internal food safety and quality management policies with external circumstances to support the food safety management system.
The daily safety and quality practices of our operations in the United States are guided by 40 internal policy documents. All of our facility programs are built upon the HACCP management framework. Our quality assurance plan utilizes the HACCP model as a baseline to manage key quality control points. We regularly update the plan to include the industry’s best practices and the latest innovation.
WH Group provides employees with systematic food safety and quality training aimed at strengthening their awareness of food safety risks in all aspects of the production process. In China, we invited internal and external teachers to train our employees at all levels on cleaning, disinfecting, microbiological analysis and control, pest control and the laws and regulations of food safety through video and on-site training. In the United States, every individual worker is required to complete training before joining our operations. Our training program is uniquely designed in the industry and it covers a great variety of topics, including food safety and food science.
Ensuring Safety and Quality of Our Products
At Smithfield, our staff on the production line receive an invitation to perform “auditing” duties over their products. The process provides our employees with a chance to examine the essence of safety and quality standards and take active ownership over their production. Additionally, we have authorized our employees the right to halt our production in case they discover any food safety or quality-related issues during their daily work.
Suppliers’ Food Safety and Quality Management
High-quality and reliable products originate from safe raw materials. The Group strives to protect the quality and safety standards of our products by strictly monitoring the quality of our hog and raw material procurement and continuously improving our supply chain management practices.
In China, besides self-owned farms and ranches, we also purchase hogs from our cooperative farms and ranches to satisfy our manufacturing demands. In the process of purchasing, we strictly control the quality of hogs, and provide our purchasing standards and policies to hog suppliers. The hogs must be delivered accompanied with complete ear tags and certificates by the suppliers, for which the items must be consistent, true and valid. And then, as required, they must be photographed for the plate number of vehicles for transportation, Animal Quarantine Certificate of hogs and the state of loading and unloading before shipment and carry out an inspection at any time in the process of transportation. The hogs can be accepted by the plants only if being first verified by the animal quarantine agencies and passing the quarantine inspection.
In the United States, our Supplier Approval Policy applies to vendors that supply raw meat materials, non-meat ingredients or any product packaging or casing. Suppliers must undergo annual GFSI certification or an appropriate third-party food safety and quality audit as well as a third-party animal handling audit, including a transportation audit. Meanwhile, we have established a set of guidelines including Suppliers’ Code of Conduct, which specify the requirements on suppliers’ operational compliance, product quality and safety, animal caring, environmental performances, business ethics, employees’ expectations as well as human rights.
Launching Plant-based Protein Products under the Pure FarmlandTM brand – A Way to Satisfy Consumer Needs with “Flexitarian” Eating Style
In 2019, we launched a new plant-based protein portfolio in the United States under the company’s Pure FarmlandTM brand to satisfy consumer needs under the “flexitarian” eating style. Our new soy-based line features a variety of flavorful breakfast patties, meatballs, burger patties, and pre-seasoned protein starters to help consumers add plant-based protein options at every meal. Making good use of our 80 years of experience in agricultural, protein studies, flavor development and product innovation, we have been launching a broad variety of plant- based protein products. In this new product line, we adopt sustainable packaging, and our trays are made from more than 50% recycled material.
Replacing Antimicrobial Preservatives with Natural Substances
In our continuous effort to develop products that are simple while maintaining the utmost food safety and quality standards, we are constantly incorporating new and proven technologies in the areas of food ingredients and processes. In our efforts to make familiar products while using common ingredients, we are developing foods that remove conventional ingredients such as lactates, nitrites and erythorbates, and replacing them with ingredients produced from vinegar, celery juice and cherry powder.